We Create Environmental Solutions for Resorts, Developments and Communities
Welcome! If you are a:
- Community Leader
- Resort Owner/developer
- Tourism Provider
CASE STUDY # 1
Problem: This Four Star International resort and the renowned Harbour Town Yacht Basin facility on Hilton Head Island was degraded by siltation. This impacted its reputation and caused loss of revenue.
Concern: Resort management was worried about adverse public opinion and potential environmental impacts caused from dredging. We acknowledged and understood their fears then provided assurance that this project could set a new standard for environmental quality.
Solution: We researched and reviewed plans and methods for dredging to determine significant gaps in environmental information. We counseled the resort management and its engineers to implement the highest level of due diligence and the most environmentally sensitive methods with fewer impacts.
Benefits/Results: Due to project adjustments and best management practices support for the dredging operation increased in the community, media and with other stakeholders. With all permits in place, Sea Pines began its marina-dredging program in November, 2013.
CASE STUDY # 2
Problem: New ownership resort had one of the most advantageous oceanfront properties. But the beaches and dunes were eroding and unappealing. Owners needed to differentiate from other local resorts. To meet permit approvals and financial goals, the resort also needed environmental restoration.
Concern: The resort owners were excited about the opportunities of the site. They knew that putting together a solid team of specialists would produce a resilient property highly successful resort.
Solution: Our innovative, low-tech beach and dune restoration beautified oceanfront views and protected property from storms. Our creative sand recapturing system increased the Marriott Vacation Club’s oceanfront property by at least 30%. BER provided environmental guidance for management and new site acquisitions. We created visitor center exhibits to acclimate guests and owners.
Benefits/Results: Grande Ocean was the first Marriott Vacation Club resort built on Hilton Head Island (HHI). Because of its success, demand on HHI resulted in eight additional Marriott Vacation Club resorts on the island, making this one of the top destinations in the U.S. Ballantine Environmental Resources received the ARDA AWARDS Silver Award in Land Utilization for Marriott International “Grande Ocean Resort Beach Restoration”.
CASE STUDY # 3
Problem: Hilton Head Island, second in size to Long Island, NY had one major road to enter and exit the island. There was not an alternative access for hurricane evacuations, emergencies or convenient travel. The concept of a “Cross Island Parkway” had been hotly debated for decades.
Concern: Many permanent residents (40,000 plus) were justifiably concerned about the proposed bridge’s storm water runoff pollution into Broad Creek below, causing degradation to wetlands and fisheries. Some were also concerned about the esthetics and noise of the four-lane bridge, and it’s cost.
Solution: Working with the Town of Hilton Head Island, the SC Sierra Club and the SC Department of Transportation, we created the concept for the first sustainable bridge in the state. The Parkway Bridge was built with gutters that capture all storm water runoff and convey it to freshwater wetland retention basins. We advised the Town to maintain native vegetation in the wetland basins to enhance filtration and evaporation of water. We designed natural sound buffers including a series of berms, native vegetation, masonry walls and highway grade changes to minimize sound pollution. The bridge is designed to allow pedestrian use and bicycles.
Benefits/Results: The sustainable Cross Island Parkway Bridge solved many community problems while maintaining adjacent environmental integrity. Additional benefits include: improved public safety, a higher standard for state bridge designs; created an alternative traffic route that reduces congestion. Importantly, the bridge is funded by tolls, not taxes.
CASE STUDY # 4
Client: Hampton Lake, Bluffton, SC
Problem: An experienced developer designed a golf course community, but the demand for golf had declined.
Concern: We understood this developer’s quest for a new recreational focus in his community. The developer envisioned a series of scenic fresh water lakes for waterfront views, boating and trophy bass fishing.
Solution: Working with the developer and his planning team, we helped lay out the recreational amenities: land and water trails, overlooks, nature preserves, interpretive exhibits and a nature center.
CASE STUDY # 5
Client: Moss Creek, Bluffton, SC
Problem: This resort/residential community had long-term degraded water features and low property values, resulting in fewer sales.
Concern: The General manager of community was worried about property values in the area. We recognized that the aging retention basins were an eyesore with negative impact. Fortunately, the General manager envisioned the beautiful, restored site we proposed.
Solution: We designed the aquatic Blue Heron nature sanctuary with outdoor recreation, scenic vistas, wildlife enhancements and permanent protection covenants. Additionally we developed a long-term management plan and maintenance manual for wetlands, waters and trees in the community.
CASE STUDY # 6
Problem: Valuable waterfront property on pristine river was slated for industrial development that would have created unprecedented water and air pollution.
Concern: The public was highly concerned about the impacts to fisheries, recreation, and their rural way of life.
Solution: We led a community task force to develop a multiuse public preserve for maximum public and environmental benefits. Working with Congressional and State leaders, we secured over $2 million in federal and state funding to purchase the property.
We created the master plan for land use and conservation. Victoria Bluff Preserve is permanently protected for multiple use: nature preserve, recreational use, education and mariculture research.
CASE STUDY # 7
Problem: This large resort community lacked water treatment disposal capacity. Economic growth slowed to a standstill, as all building permits were put on hold until a viable solution was determined.
Concern: Residents and business owners feared for their jobs, families and lifestyle. We understood the devastating effects on the entire community and introduced the innovation solution.
Solution: We invented Reclaimed Water (RCW) technology to restore watersheds. This was the first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved project of its kind in the U.S. This has permanently protected the surrounding Atlantic Ocean water quality – the major tourist attraction.
Benefits/Results: Reclaimed Water is a community-wide solution to advanced-treated water reuse. It restores major watersheds, old-growth forest habitats critical to neo-tropical migratory birds, and set a national standard for a new environmental technology. RCW technology saves money for the utilities and their customers, and facilitates economic growth.
CASE STUDY # 8
Problem: Despite inspiring scenery, CRPC lacked a way to tell its remarkable story for residents and interested prospective buyers. Two bodies of pristine rivers surround this upscale golf community. Many residents care deeply about golf and also the extraordinary history of the land, and abundant natural sites. They did not have collateral material to educate and excite owners and prospective owners about these unique amities.
Solution: We were hired to create the distinctive CRPC Discovery Map. We wrote the storyline and developed a graphic map with waypoints to share historic, cultural and natural highlights of the property. This map includes original illustrations, professional photography and geographic features to entice owners and future buyers to explore their community more deeply.
Benefits/Results: The Discovery Map differentiates CRPC from its competitors. Owners and Prospective Owners now have a richer understanding of why their homes and investments are so unique. The sales and marketing department use the CRPC Discovery Map extensively to broadcast and sell this award-winning property.
CASE STUDY # 9
Client: Sun City Hilton Head by Del Webb
Problem: This Del Webb property, the largest 55 + active adult community in South Carolina, was challenged to create a distinctive, successful community out of a barren, former industrial pine plantation.
Concern: All developable land had been clear-cut by the former landowner. Del Web’s primary concern was to identify the highest and best uses for the property in order to create the most distinguished Over-55 community that would equal or exceed the quality development standards of nearby Hilton Head Island.
Solution: We conducted a thorough natural resource assessment that identified optimum development potentials, and parks, recreation and open space locations. We planned multiuse pathways, and nature preserves. We developed the plan for restoring the landscape with native species. We wrote and produced an original guidebook for all residents and buyers, introducing them to history, culture and nature. We presented a series of sold out live educational programs, which are popular to this day.
Benefits/Results: Because Del Web adopted our Environmental Master Plan to guide land planning, this community has become one of the most successful developments in the company’s portfolio. Residents enjoy healthy activities such as biking, walking, and bird watching. Most homebuyers relocate to Sun City Hilton Head from other parts of the U.S. They appreciate learning about their new homes and community, adding a sense of place to their investment.
CASE STUDY # 10
Problem: This resort community has one square mile of designated forest preserve. For over 40 years decision makers could not agree on a land use plan for this site. This disagreement resulted in lawsuits and ineffective management.
Concern: All stakeholders (resort, homeowners and the public utility) felt frustrated by a lack of a land use plan. As experts on this preserve we recognized the need for leadership.
Solution: We created the permanent master plan for conservation, recreation and preservation uses. The plan was adopted and is legally binding.
Benefits/Results: The resort and the community now has guidelines for program planning and management. New facilities were added. The Preserve enhanced the reputation and property values of the community and resort. The Preserve has become a significant wildlife refuge and popular tourist attraction with passive and active recreation.
CASE STUDY # 11
Problem: The Savannah Coastal Refuges is a “complex” of seven National Wildlife Refuges encompassing 100 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline in Georgia and South Carolina. The 29,175-acre Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, located near Savannah, GA is the home of the refuge and receives thousands of visitors annually. Since 1929, the refuge complex had no visitor center for environmental education and refuge administration.
Concern: Without a central location for d focused educational programs, the complex was missing out on presenting the significant conservation story and programs the refuges.
Solution: In 2008 the Savannah Coastal Refuges Visitor Center opened. Ballantine Environmental Resources planned and designed all interpretive exhibits and displays, and wrote the treatment-script for site film seen by thousands of annual visitors.
Benefits/Results: The Refuge Complex is now able to better serve the public, providing centralized administration, education, and interactive experiences for all ages.